While the world caters to the powerful, for many (most) of us much of life involves trying to cope with the times when we are powerless. You know those moments, when you cannot control the outcome of a situation by anything you say or do. Think of them: a doctor’s diagnosis, a family members’ rage and exit, an unfaithful spouse, a natural disaster. This is the way of this world, this is life. We work hard. We do what we can. We try hard to make our own way and prove we can handle anything that comes our way. Then, suddenly, we find ourselves flat on our back wondering what happened. We have “fallen and we cannot get up.” We are powerless.
Though the world looks at these times of being powerless as the ultimate failure, Scripture sees it as an opportunity to receive a blessing from God. Just compare Palm Sunday (today) and Good Friday. Jesus enters Jerusalem at the “top of His game” and the people love him and cheer. On Good Friday He is crucified like the lowest criminal and abandoned by His friends. He appears powerless, beaten and broken—but our belief shows us that God works through all things for good, through all things to bring us back to Him.
Chances are good that today or tomorrow or the next day you will find yourself faced with a situation that you cannot control. It may be a business deal, it may be a relationship, or it may be a family crisis. You are totally and absolutely powerless to personally fix it, change it, undo it, or improve it. Change for this situation does not rest upon you—even though it may be the result of your own actions or choices, or it may simply be the way of the world. Regardless, you are powerless.
As wrong and unfair as it may appear, you may be in the best situation of your life to experience the grace of God. Though it appears hopeless, you can recover if you will allow God to come to you in your powerless state and do what only He can do. You see, God promises that His gracious favor is all you need. His power works best in your weakness—and as we know—nothing ever stays the same. Change is God’s movement in our lives. So, pick up your cross, pray and be at peace. He rose and you will too. Keep breathing. Keep praying. Keep singing!
Just a Note: When we travel, we travel prepared: we pack our suitcases carefully with the items needed for our journey, we leave our homes ready for our return, and we attend to the details that make our journeys meaningful. My suggestion is to take the same care in preparation for this Holy Week journey of faith: read the scripture; be rested in order to truly focus and hear the Word; prepare your spirit through the Sacrament of Reconciliation; plan “attendance first” to all the liturgies─and let other stuff come second. When we prepare well for a journey, we will make the most of it. Doesn’t your Lord and Savior who died for you deserve your focus and attention for a week? See you in church!